The Olympus SH-1 seems, at first, like any other compact point and shoot camera with a long zoom. But it includes a signature feature usually found in the company’s interchangable-lens bodies: 5-axis on-sensor image stabilisation.
The $449 SH-1 has a 16 megapixel, 1/2.3 inch sensor and a equivalent 25-600mm f/3.0-6.3 lens. That means super long 24x zoom capability, aided by the wonderful image stabilisation system that works so great on cameras like the Olympus OM-D E-M1 .
Unfortunately, there’s not much to recommend the SH-1 beyond the zoom range and stabilisation. With a tiny sensor and disappointing aperture range, the SH-1 will have difficulty appealing to most folks looking for top-notch image quality.
More and more people are becoming hip to the advantage of larger-sensor cameras, as models like the Sony RX100 and compact interchangeable lens systems proliferate. It’s a shame, because the SH-1 looks superbly designed on the outside, with a powerful TruePic VII engine on the inside.
Other features of the SH-1 include built-in Wi-Fi, full HD video at 60 fps, as well as lower resolution options up to 240 fps. It can do all kinds of point-and-shoot stuff, like apply wacky filters, record time-lapses automatically, and even assemble your photos into montages called Photo Story.
Enthusiasts may be scratching their head after expecting Olympus to tackle the compact sector with the same high-end verve they it applied to its interchangeable lens cameras. But for now you’ll have to settle for a point and shoot with a couple of nifty features, but not much of a sensor or lens to get excited about.